Passengers who encourage reckless driving could be liable for any injuries that their actions cause.

When Could A Passenger Be Responsible For An Accident?If you’ve been in a car accident caused by another person, you probably think that the only person responsible for your injuries is the other driver. But in some cases, a passenger may actually be at fault for the other driver’s bad driving — and you could potentially recover from that passenger for their negligence.

At the Law Office of Larry H. Parker, we are skilled at handling all types of motor vehicle accident cases.  We investigate each case thoroughly to determine the facts and decide who should be sued.  In most cases, car crashes are the direct result of a driver’s negligence.  But sometimes — particularly with young drivers — the passengers may actually be at fault for the accident.

More Than Distracted Driving

Having passengers in a car can increase the risk of distracted driving. A crying child can divert a parent’s attention from the road, or a serious conversation could cause a driver to lose focus on the road.  Those situations are not likely to lead to a case against the passenger.  But if a person did more than just distract the driver, he or she may be responsible for any resulting crashes or injuries.

When a group of people are in a car — especially if they are teenagers — they may be more likely to engage in high risk behavior than if the driver was alone.  If a passenger encourages the driver to do something dangerous — like speed, ride up onto the sidewalk, or go fast over a bump or a hill to get the car airborne — then their actions could make them partially responsible for any resulting accident.  The driver is still responsible, but the passenger could also bear some of the blame for their actions.

This situation is like drag racing.  If Car A and Car B are racing down a street and Car A hits a pedestrian, the drivers of BOTH cars could be held legally responsible for the crash. That is because they are engaging in a “concert of action” to race each other.  The driver of Car B did not hit the victim, but his advice, encouragement, or actions led directly to the accident.  In this way, a passenger who encourages a driver to do something dangerous, illegal, or negligent could also be held responsible for any accidents.  A skilled car collision attorney can analyze the facts of your case to see if there is any evidence that another person is partially at fault for the accident.

In addition to encouragement or demands, if a passenger actually takes action that causes an accident, then he or she could also be sued for the injuries that result.  For example, if a passenger grabs the steering wheel, causing the car to spin out of control and strike another vehicle, that could be a situation in which the passenger can be sued for his actions.  Similarly, if the passenger puts his leg over and hits the gas or the brakes, she could be liable for any resulting injuries.  It all comes down to the specific facts of each case as to whether a passenger can be sued in addition to the driver for your injuries.

The Law Office of Larry H. Parker represents people who have been hurt by negligent or reckless drivers in California and Arizona.  We will fight to protect your legal rights and to make sure that you get the money you deserve for your injuries.  Contact us today at 800-333-0000 or to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you recover for your car accident.

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